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Filed under: Features
If anyone was due for an Academy Award for Best Actor last year, it was the perpetually underrated Jeff Bridges, an actor who has spent 40 years playing everyone from presidents to bums with an intensity that is rarely flashy but always memorable.
The son of famed actor Lloyd Bridges, the actor got his first credit as an infant in 1950's 'The Company She Keeps,' and since the early 1970s has displayed an unparalleled versatility. Bridges is one of Hollywood's few A-list actors to successfully divorce the terms "actor" and "celebrity," which may explain why his immense body of work has flown so under the radar for so long (it took him nearly 60 films to win that Oscar, for 2009's 'Crazy Heart'). Yet you can always count on Bridges to deliver noteworthy performances, even in mediocre movies ('Against All Odds,' 'Tideland, »
- Jason Newman
For years, there was no sign that the public loved Jeff Bridges. Yet he developed into maybe the best mature actor in America
Some of us have revered Jeff Bridges for decades – since his good-natured young studs and chumps: Duane in The Last Picture Show; the boxer who keeps getting knocked out in Fat City; and, with Barry Brown, as drifters and small-time thieves in Bad Company. It was said that Bridges was a natural, the closest we had to a second Robert Mitchum – a world-weary, handsome presence, who declined to fall for the lofty values thrown around in American stories. It was important to Bridges that he didn't seek important parts. He was seldom caught acting or breaking a sweat. He was happy to play off situations and other characters. The films were not all good or demanding, but Bridges was building a consistency all the more admirable in »
- David Thomson
Jeff Bridges has entered a new stage of his career, one that very few actors ever reach. When he started in this business, he was "Lloyd Bridges' son." After his first few roles of note, movies like "The Last Picture Show" and "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot," he became a working actor and an Oscar nominee. With his work in recent years in films like "The Big Lebowski" and last year's "Crazy Heart," he has become a beloved screen icon, and it seems like the love for him just keeps growing. So once you become a legend, what's left to accomplish? How about »
Trevor Hogg profiles the career of legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola in the fourth of a five-part feature... read parts one, two and three.
“[Preston Tucker] developed plans for a car way ahead of its time in terms of engineering; yet the auto industry at large stubbornly resisted his innovative ideas,” remarked moviemaker Francis Ford Coppola who wanted to do a musical on the life and times of the post-World War II maverick car designer with Leonard Bernstein composing the music. The project was stalled with the financial collapse of Coppola’s studio. “I thought it was the best project Francis had ever been involved with,” stated filmmaker George Lucas (American Graffiti). “No studio in town would touch it; they all said it was too expensive. They all wanted $15 million Three Men and a Baby  movies or Crocodile Dundee, Part 73 sequels.” Lucas agreed to provide the funding for the $24 million budget which »
Who better to put into words the talent and long lasting legacy of Leslie Nielsen than writer/director/producer David Zucker? David, along with his brother Jerry and friend Jim Abrahams, cast Nielsen in several of his most memorable roles, such as Airplane and The Naked Gun. Those films helped reinvent the then serious actor as a huge comedy star and make a whole other generation aware of his deadpan brilliance. Zucker obviously knew Nielsen well and wrote a heartfelt tribute to the late actor, who passed away on Sunday . They have the full transcript, but you can also read it after the jump. Props to the Hollywood Reporter  for having Zucker write about Nielsen. It was summer 1979, a full three weeks before the start of shooting for Airplane! and our casting director had finally had enough. Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Peter Graves and now Leslie … who? At least audiences »
- Germain Lussier
'Airplane!' and 'Naked Gun' producer/writer/director pays tribute to the actor, who died Sunday.
By Gil Kaufman
Relationships of Hollywood movie sets tend to be shallow, short-lived and mostly a put-on. But when producer/writer/director David Zucker, his brother, Jerry, and their partner Jim Abrahams cast Leslie Nielsen in their 1979 disaster spoof "Airplane!," they had no idea that they would not only provide a second life to a hard-working actor's career, but gain a true friend in the process.
(For photos of the late actor throughout his career, click here.)
David Zucker penned a loving tribute to Nielsen — who died on Sunday at age 84 due to complications from pneumonia — for the Hollywood Reporter on Monday, paying homage to a man he said he was barely aware of when he cast him in the classic comedy, but who came to »
I can’t think of another career quite like Leslie Nielsen’s. For nearly thirty years he was a “utility” leading man who barely ever cracked a smile. He worked in live television drama, scores of filmed television shows, and movies. Then overnight, with the success of Airplane!, he became everybody’s go-to guy for goofy comedies—to the extent that almost no one in amnesia-ridden Hollywood would cast him in a serious role again. (Airplane! also redirected the careers of such other stoic actors as Robert Stack and Lloyd Bridges, but not to the same degree.) Even Swoosie Kurtz, the talented actress who… »
By Lee Pfeiffer
Actor Leslie Nielsen, who improbably morphed from B-level dramatic leading man to a comedy acting legend, has died from complications with pneumonia at age 84. A native Canadian, Nielson was the nephew of silent screen star Jean Hersholt, for whom the honorary Oscar award was named. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Nielsen said, "I did learn very early that when I would mention my uncle, people would look at me as if I were the biggest liar in the world. Then I would take them home and show them 8-by-10 glossies, and things changed quite drastically. So I began to think that maybe this acting business was not a bad idea, much as I was very shy about it and certainly without courage regarding it. My uncle died not too long after I was in a position to know him. I regret that I had not »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Sky Movies HD have got quite a good season coming up called ‘Movies You Never Got Around To Watching But Always Wanted To See’ and this sort of thing is perfect for people who aren’t sure what movies they should watch.
Have a look at the list below including the date and time it will air and I’ve given trailers for each movie, when it’s on TV and some of my favourite clips for some of the movies too.
Mon 11th 5.45pm Dead Poets Society
Director: Peter Weir
Synopsis: Set in an exclusive boys preparatory school in 1959, a newly appointed English teacher uses unconventional techniques to inspire his students in classic poetry. »
- David Sztypuljak
Is Airplane! the funniest film ever? John Patterson talks to the three nobodies from Milwaukee whose movie sparked a comedy revolution
When David Zucker was a schoolkid in Milwaukee in the 1960s, one of his teachers made a prediction. "She said to me once, when I was fooling around in class, 'Zucker, I know one day I'll be paying good money to see you make me laugh, but right now, get your ass back in that chair and crack that book!'"
She was right. This badly behaved schoolkid would go on to reinvent Us screen comedy with a movie called Airplane!, which he co-directed and co-wrote. Today, speaking in Manhattan, David is feeling a little rough. He was out the night before, it turns out, celebrating the film's 30th anniversary with the movie's co-creators, his younger brother Jerry and their lifelong friend Jim Abrahams. "I just couldn't get out of bed this morning, »
- John Patterson
Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Airplane! Robert Stack is one of those actors I know but at the same time I don’t. I’ve watched many of his movies, but despite his good looks my focus while watching them was almost invariably on somebody or something else: Carole Lombard, Jennifer Jones, Joan Crawford, Dorothy Malone, Farrah Fawcett, Peter Graves, an inflatable doll. (Gotta add I’ve never seen Stack’s Elliot Ness.) Hopefully that can be rectified — minus The Untouchables omission, of course — on Monday, Aug. 16, as Turner Classic Movies will be showing no less than fourteen Stack films as part of its "Summer Under the Stars" series. [Full Robert Stack schedule.] Among those are six TCM premieres. They are: William Castle‘s period adventure The Iron Glove (1954); Bwana Devil (1952), notable as the first 3D feature distributed by a major Hollywood studio; My Outlaw Brother (1951), co-starring Mickey Rooney and Wanda Hendrix; [...] »
- Andre Soares
Hollywood's guilds, unions and collection societies are sitting on a gold mine of unclaimed residuals and royalties. They're holding more than $150 million for tens of thousands of actors, writers, directors and musicians they're trying to locate.
I began looking into this recently when I learned that my late father had a small piece of this pie coming to him.
My dad, Larry Robb, was a bit player and longtime SAG member. He had a small role on an episode of "Kung Fu," played Mad Dog in a movie called "Star Hops" and had a couple of lines in the telefilm "Frank Nitti: The Enforcer." We went to the premiere.
My dad died broke 20 years ago; there was no will and no estate. But I recently discovered that he'd left me some money after all -- in the form of unclaimed SAG residuals.
It turns out that SAG has more than »
- By David Robb
MGM’s financial problems are, by now, well-known. The Bond franchise and The Hobbit films have been the highest profile casualties so far; both projects in indefinite limbo until the financial wranglings can be resolved.
Nevertheless, MGM are determined to press on with attempting to develop new projects, despite being flat broke and patently unable to get anything more elaborate than a paper aeroplane off the ground. News reaches us today from Variety that MGM are developing a feature adaptation of their long-running sci-fi/mystery/supernatural/thriller/whatever anthology series, The Outer Limits.
The Outer Limits ran for a few years back in the 60′s on the small screen and was then revived in the second half of the 90′s, hoping to cash in on some of the popularity of The X-Files. In fairness, it was not a bad programme, mixing a combination of supernatural, thriller and science-gone-wrong elements and »
- Dave Roper
Fifty years ago this week, Sammy Davis Jr. was roundly booed during the opening ceremony of the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. The incident was one of the saddest moments in the entertainer's life and pointed up the deep racial divide that was threatening to rip apart the Democratic Party and the country.
It was July 11, 1960, and in two days the convention would nominate John F. Kennedy as the Democrats' presidential nominee. It had been hot and smoggy that day as 7,000 delegates began pouring into the Sports Arena downtown.
The convention was called to order promptly at 5 p.m., and after the invocation, everyone stood as the color guard presented the flag -- the first with 50 stars presented at a national political convention as Hawaii had been admitted to the Union 11 months earlier.
Then came the introduction of the Hollywood celebrities who were packed into the crowded hall as guests of the convention. »
- By David Robb
It seems unfathomable that we once lived in a world where we were deprived of Ethel Merman playing a doped-up Ptsd-afflicted soldier who thinks he's Ethel Merman, or the mom from Leave it to Beaver sliding some smooth jive-talking on the brothers, or watching Lloyd Bridges pick the wrong day to stop sniffing glue. But fortunately, Airplane! came along some 30 years ago and comedy has never been the same. Like the rapid-fire gags you see on The Simpsons and American Dad? Enjoy the so-dumb-it's-hilarious jokes of the Farrelly Brothers? Appreciate the fact that Leslie Nielsen is best known now for his screwball comedies rather than his stodgy black and white dramas? Thank Airplane! for all of the above. After the jump, enjoy my favorite scene and the original trailer from one of the funniest movies ever made. »
The Hollywood actor talks about his family
My father encouraged all his kids to go into showbiz. Not for vicarious reasons but because he enjoyed it so much. And like most kids, I didn't want to do what my dad told me. I didn't want to stand out, to be special. As a kid, you don't want people saying, "Oh, you think you're so great because your dad is Lloyd Bridges." You don't want to be a product of nepotism, which I surely am.
My mother and father were both very nurturing people and wonderful examples of how to live your life. I was incredibly lucky to be born in that particular bed. But the hardest thing as an actor is getting your foot in the door, and the reason I got my foot in the door was because of who my dad was – it's as simple as that.
By Lee Pfeiffer
If you've never seen the 1966 Ivan Tors adventure film Around the World Under the Sea, you're missing a real gem. The premise finds a dedicated group of scientists on a death-defying undersea mission to plant earthquake warning devices on seabeds around the globe. The film has an eclectic cast including Lloyd Bridges, James Bond girl Shirley Eaton, Man From U.N.C.L.E. star David McCallum, Marshall Thompson of Daktari!, Brian Kelly of Flipper -with Keenan Wynn thrown in for good measure. The real star of the film is the late underwater photographer Lamar Boren, whose talents add immeasurably to the movie. The effects are still very effective by today's standards and it's a real joy to see so many charismatic stars in one movie. The film had a brief release on VHS by MGM in the 1980s but has yet to be released on DVD- c'mon guys, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Two new parodies open in theaters this weekend on Friday, May 21… MacGruber and Shrek Forever After. Just as these two films are very different from each other, as are movie parodies, ranging in style and format, poking fun at anything and everything. In keeping with this week’s box office theme, We Are Movie Geeks has formulated our own list of the ten best parody movies. The films we’ve selected broadly encompass the widely varying genre of parodies, and while we certainly left out some good ones, it gives an idea of what we think of as being the exemplary examples.
Honorable Mention: Uhf (1989)
I’ll admit, Weird Al Yankovic’s parody of public access television is not everyone’s cup-o-tea, but for truly devoted Movies Geeks, this is a modern classic of ridiculous comedy. Yankovic has already established himself as an international music star, which is saying a »
- Movie Geeks
I’m loving this project more and more with each film, there is something truly magical about watching some of these amazing films for the first time ever like 12 Angry Men, The Apartment, Rope and Double Indemnity and in this weeks round up I’ve added another incredible film to my collection with the German stunner Der Untergang.
The other four films all offered something enjoyably different with High Noon being a particular standout which has kick started my love for the Western movie genre. I revisited Avatar for the third time which was interesting to see again since the hype has died down, ventured again to Edgar Wright’s perfect Zombie movie “Shaun of the Dead” and had a surprisingly enjoyable watch of Mel Gibson’s Braveheart. Again another fine week of movies that all deserve to be in the Top 250 and still Mulholland Drive is the only film »
- Gary Phillips
Veteran actor also known for roles in Airplane! and a string of other movies believed to have had heart attack at the age of 83
Graves passed away on Sunday, just a few days before his 84th birthday, outside his home in Los Angeles, his publicist, Sandy Brokaw, said. Graves was returning from brunch with his wife of nearly 60 years and his family when he had what Graves's doctor believed was a heart attack, Brokaw said.
Graves first gained attention with the 1950s TV series Fury, but remained best known for the role of Jim Phelps, leader of a gang of special agents who battled evil conspirators in TV's Mission: Impossible.
Graves appeared in dozens of films and a handful of television shows in a career of nearly 60 years. »
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